Modus.Ponens wrote: . . . Can you explain . . .
If I cannot, does this open the door to Ingram's being an arahant? Why do you need him to be an arahant? Maybe DW is not the place for, but DharmaOverground is. I have above, at length, explained why I do not find Ingram, Folk and company convincing.
Not necessarily. It opens the door to understand the teachings in a less rigid fashion. I get why most people dismiss him completely. I just don't want to do it that easily.
How many hundreds, and hundreds, of tibetan buddhist masters have spent years on end in solitary retreat? How about Zen masters? Do they speak in exactly the same way as theravadins do? Since they don't, does it mean that most of them didn't attain arahatship? Can we totaly dismiss these hundreds of masters, who express their experience in a different doctrinal framework? Just because I probably know what the suttas say better than, for example, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, I don't want to assume that I am in position to evaluate his level of realisation accurately.
"Maybe DW is not the place for _____" . Did you mean to fill the blank with the word "you"?
Can you explain how the fact that the Buddha allowing arahats to commit suicide is not a contradiction? If you interpret the dhamma rigidly, this is as flagrant a contradiction as it can be.
How is it a contradiction?
Permitting any arahant to commit suicide as a shortcut to Nibbana would serve as a bad example for the Sangha, but these arahants were in agonizing pain. Would it not be uncompassionate to deny them the right to suicide? They had no ill will left, so suicide wouldn't land them in an unfavorable rebirth anyway.
This is probably the most severe contradiction I have ever found in the buddhist teachings. The vinaya has only four rules that entail permanent expulsion from the monastic order. One of the ways you can be expelled is by praising suicide and your words resulting in actual suicide of another person. It's an indirect form of killing. Furthermore, killing an arahat is one of the only 5 actions that guarantee hell. They're called the henious crimes. So how could the Buddha, who was a bhikkhu, have have supposedly stated that a an arahat can take his life blamelessly? Although this doesn't seem like a breaking of the parajika, it's very problematic.
The only way of geting out of this contradiction is to be wary of taking the suttas too seriously. The suttas are still the supreme authority. But, as I've said above, how reliable is this authority?
Either the suttas that deal with "incapability" of some imoral actions were corrupted. Or the suttas that mention the Buddha as saying that an arahat can take his life blamelessly were corrupted. Or the situations are not clear cut, as is normal in such a complex world. The part that makes me say that the suttas were somewhat corrupted is the uniformization. For example, the standard jhana formula is repeated countless times in the exact same words. I find it hard to believe that the Buddha repeated that formula in those exact words hundreds and hundreds of times. Plus, there is a lot of repetition of paragraphs in order to facilitate memorisation. But, this repetition is a form of standardization.
The point is that trying to uniformize the teachings removes nuance from them. And that's the whole problem for me. There are parts that are easy to see that were corrupted. But the uniformization removed nuances we may never know of.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)